Some areas are losing metres each year, and efforts to relocate some structures have begun. There has been discussion of moving the entire hamlet.
In a news release on Thursday, the federal government said its investment of approximately $53.7 million “will ensure future generations can continue to live in this community.”
Erwin Elias, Tuktoyaktuk’s mayor, said the money “will provide much more time for the community to prepare for a possible relocation or to move upland, away from rising waters and a shrinking shoreline.”
An exact breakdown of how the money will be spent was not immediately available.
In its news release, Ottawa said the cash will pay for “armoured rock and other materials will be installed along the shoreline most impacted by erosion and in front of Tuktoyaktuk Island, to reduce the force of the waves that are washing away the land that this community is situated on.”
Tuktoyaktuk Island, in front of the community’s harbour, is a particular focal point of efforts to protect the coastline.
The island currently absorbs many storms’ worst effects, leaving the harbour comparatively unscathed.
But researchers working in Tuktoyaktuk believe the island could be breached in 20 to 25 years, exposing the harbour to the full force of storms.
Other work funded using the newly announced cash will include “improvements to existing concrete slab protections … along with other upgrades to the barrier beach at the south end of the community,” the federal government stated.